Publisher: University of Calabar

Kidnapping In Pre- and Post-Amnesty Niger Delta, Nigeria

Owonikoko, Babajide Saheed, Phd
KEYWORDS: Kidnapping, Amnesty Programme, Niger Delta, Nigeria


The phenomenon of kidnapping is on the increase on daily basis in Nigeria. It is however more widespread in the Niger Delta region. This paper specially examines the dynamics of kidnapping in the Niger Delta region before and after the implementation of the Presidential Amnesty Programme. Using both primary and secondary data, the paper traces the commencement of kidnapping in the Niger Delta region to the beginning of armed phase of the Niger Delta agitation for resource control. The perpetrators were basically militant groups and the victims were expatriates. It was strategically used to wage the resource control war against the federal government and the multi-national oil companies. However, with the implementation of the Amnesty Programme since 2009, there has been increase in cases of kidnapping instead of reducing. While the perpetrators now involve both members and non-members of armed groups, the victims also include expatriates and indigenes of the region depending on their economic worth as it is used as a mean of livelihood and survival by people indulging in it in post-amnesty Niger Delta. The paper argues that widespread increase in kidnapping in post-amnesty Niger Delta can be traced to prevalence of poverty in the region and the way and manner in which the amnesty programme was implemented. The paper recommended massive job creation and reconsideration of the system of justice administration in the country as solutions to the problem of widespread kidnapping in the Niger Delta region. 

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